Thursday, August 20, 2009


by Fred Rogers

Most of us, I believe, admire strength. It's something we tend to respect in others, desire for ourselves, and wish for our children. Sometimes, though, I wonder if we confuse strength with other concepts--like aggression and even violence.

One of the signs of this confusion is the way many people seem to consider strength an appropriate attribute of men, while thinking gentleness is something women should possess. To me, that seems very far from the truth. We all need the capacity for both strength and gentleness. The opposite of strength isn't gentleness but weakness, and the opposite of gentleness isn't strength but violence.